Saturday, January 21, 2012

Diaries of an Obsessive Compulsive Picker: Month 2

I can't believe so much time has passed since I started my fight with picking! Time really must magically fly faster toward the end of the year... But anyway, enough procrastinating, I guess if you're reading this, you do want to know how I'm doing with trying to combat my compulsive skin picking.

Well... I think I'm doing really well! I'd say I've managed to cut back about 80% of my picking :) In other words, I still occasionally pick, but mostly whiteheads that look like they could be easily extracted; I'm more capable now of letting my skin do its own thing and I also don't seem to mind every tiny bump or clogged pore anymore. Yay!

Not to let this post turn into a lenghty public display of patting my own ego on the back, I decided I'd share some things that I (retrospectively) think have helped me come closer to my goal of stopping the skin picking.

1) Getting away from it all. I definitely believe that our Christmas trip back home helped me gain some perspective and shift the focus away from my appearance woes. Being home, surrounded by my family, always busy doing things together didn't leave much time on my hands to obsess over every new pimple. However, I did relapse one or two times, and I could clearly see how strongly stress-related my picking is.
2) Addressing built-up tension. Being away and talking to my family also helped me realize some issues here at home that were making me unhappy but which I didn't know how to face. I think I was feeling like I had no longer any control over some aspects of my life, and was trying to regain that by forcing control over my own skin. Addressing those problems and releasing the tension just made me a bit happier and calmer all around, so that I don't feel the urge to pick as often as I had in the past.
3) Getting dermatologic help. Truth be told, my trip to the dermatologist was a direct result of an awful hand eczema flare-up I've been experiencing this winter, but I decided to discuss my acne with the doctor as well. I'll be writing a separate post devoted to my treatment and all that jazz, but just knowing that you're under professional care and things should be improving from now on is a vast relief and a huge source of hope.

And there you have it! I'm not exactly sure how often (if at all) I'll be posting new updates on my fight with picking, just because I'm pretty sure I don't have that many more refreshing thoughts and tricks to share that could be helpful to fellow pickers; there have been some amazing suggestions in the comments to previous 'Diaries' posts though, so go check these out if you're looking for inspiration!

Before I let you go, I'd just like to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your amazing support, gracious comments and crossed fingers. They all helped tremendously and I'm really grateful for having such a fantastic bunch of readers and blogging friends as you, ladies. Thank you!!!


  1. Congratulations, that's fantastic!
    Our mind has such ways to trick us on controlling what we can to make up for the fact that life can't be controlled - for me it's food that I control in a crazy manner when I'm not well. And I know it's hard to fight against your brain!!

  2. Sounds like you are definitely on top of things, Monika! I think seeing a dermatologist is probably a good thing; it is sometimes very nice to know that someone else is looking out for you.

  3. I've also cut back on picking by at least 70%, thanks to your brilliant first post! And I've also found that the few times I've picked has been stress-related. Two major instances prove it. One, the night I spent at an empty airport after missing the flight from Singapore to Manila: I picked at my face for FOUR HOURS due to stress and nothing better to do, literally. Two, last night while playing referee between my crazy parents: after I left them, I picked at a spot that wasn't even a zit and ended up creating a new zit AND a scar. Doh. :(

    I'm so glad you've found a way to cope with this and shared it with us, Monika. We'll conquer this annoying habit yet!

  4. Congrats!:) I was following your progress and am really glad to hear you have the picking pretty much under control. Mine is also very much stress-related and I know how hard it is not to give in to picking when upset or stressed.